The Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program named Mesa resident Audriana Mitchell the 2019-20 Miss Indian Arizona.
Mitchell, a Navajo member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, competed against five other contestants and will represent 22 Arizona Native American tribes across the country.
Audriana is a student at Mesa Community College, studying communication and organizational management.
“The American Indian Institute at MCC is very proud to recognize Audri in this capacity and wishes her all the best as she moves forward in this capacity,” said Jim Larney, director of the MCC American Indian Institute.
Audriana said she has a goal of serving as an ambassador for Native youth everywhere and much of her previous experience leading to her prestigious recognition has prepared her in numerous ways.
She said she is excited to continue connecting Native youth with opportunities through engagement in their schools and communities.
She also wants to travel to as many tribal communities as possible while in this role to meet, serve and teach youth how to become leaders capable of positively impacting and serving their tribes and nations.
“Audriana spent many years serving and advocating for Native youth to learn how to overcome the many issues and challenges they face,” an MCC spokeswoman said.
“She has served passionately as a volunteer, mentor, leader, peer guide, organizer and officer with local and national organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mesa Strength Youth Council, Mountain View High School Native American Club and United National Indian Tribal Youth.
A member of the 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders Class of 2018, she also has been Miss Colorado River Indian Tribes and is current president of the MCC Intertribal Student Organization.
Through all of her experiences and recognitions, she has received an outpouring of support from friends and family but she says she honors the most important supporter, her mother Harlietta Mitchell.
“I am pleased to represent my community and look forward to connecting and supporting other Native youth,” Audriana said. “I hope to make a positive impact on those I meet through this wonderful opportunity.”
Larney said during the time Audriana has been at MCC, she strengthened her leadership skills by assisting with outreach activities the MCC American Indian Institute provides to Native American students.
“She serves as a campus tour guide, participates in our student panels, is active in our ISO student club and currently serves as the President,” Larney said, adding:
“She is genuine in her interactions with campus visitors and is always willing to share her educational experience in assisting other students to navigate through a higher education institution.
“She is a great role model for American Indian students. She will be a wonderful ambassador as a representative of her tribal community and for MCC.”